Houghton College requires that each student have an Immunization Record prior to attending classes.
Effective August 1, 1990, New York State Public Health Law 2165 requires all students born after January 1, 1957 to show proof of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella. In compliance with that law, Houghton College must have documentation of the administration of 2 MMR vaccines (after the age of one and separated by at least one year) prior to the first day of classes. If a student believes they have already had two shots, but cannot provide documentation of the dates, an alternative is to have blood work drawn to prove immunity. Failure to provide adequate documentation of immunity may result in exclusion from classes until such time that the requirements are fulfilled.
Requests for medical exemptions must be accompanied by a statement from a physician documenting the nature of the medical contraindication and the expected duration of the condition (i.e. temporary or permanent).
Requests for religious exemptions must be made in writing by the student outlining the specific ways in which the administration of the immunization conflicts with their religious convictions.
If you are not able to provide documentation, you can receive immunizations from your local County Health Department or personal physician.
State Law also requires Houghton College to document that each matriculating student has been given information about meningococcal disease and the available vaccine against it, and to document that each student who has not been vaccinated has been offered the vaccine.
The required Response Form is included in the Immunization Record form. Each student must indicate whether they received the immunization, declined the vaccine, or plan on getting the vaccine.
Though this form is required only on admission to college, by law a response form signed for admission to one college cannot be accepted at another. Therefore, transfer students must provide Houghton College with a separate Response Form, even if they have taken care of this requirement at another school.
Failure to provide the required Response Form prior to the first day of classes may result in exclusion from classes until such time that the requirement is fulfilled
I am having trouble obtaining my immunization records, what can I do?
Immunization records can be obtained from your doctor or health care facility, previous colleges attended, and military immunization records. Immunizations listed in baby books or on the back of birth certificates can be submitted for review, but must include a physician's signature to be valid. In the event that none of these records are available, students can be reimmunized or have a blood test by their physician to determine their immunity.
Does my immunization form need to be signed by a physician?
No signature is required if the form is from a previous school (on school letterhead), military records or any form that has a validating signature on it (i.e. public health records or a record from a physician or group practice letterhead).
What are the minimum vaccine requirements?
- 2 doses of live measles virus vaccine, the first does administered on, or after the first birthday and the 2nd does administered more than 28 days after the first does but after 15 months of age;
- 1 dose of live rubella virus vaccine administered on or after the first birthday;
- 1 dose of live mumps virus vaccine administered on or after the first birthday;
- If the student is unable to provide a certificate of immunization that satisfies the above requirements, documentation that proves the student attended primary or secondary school in the United States after 1980 will be sufficient proof that the student received one does of live measles virus vaccine. If such documentation is provided, the the student must also provide a certificate of immunization that documents a does of measles vaccine was administered within one year prior to attendance at the post-secondary institution.
- Measles vaccine doses administered prior to 1968 are not valid unless the record specifically states it was a live vaccine.
What are the ways that I can show compliance?
- Students born before January 1, 1957 are exempt (note the Meningococcal Waiver still needs to be signed).
- Medical Contraindications: A written, signed and dated statement from a physician must be provided citing the medical condition that contraindicates immunizations, the expected duration of the exemption and the specific vaccine(s) being exempted.
- Religious exemption: A statement written, signed and dated by the student describing his/her objection to immunization based on religious tenets or practices. Philosophical objections will not be accepted. View and download the form.
- Verification of military service.
- Physician verification of disease for measles and mumps, NOT rubella.
What if I was in the military, can I use those records?
In 1998 New York Sate Public Health Law 2165 was amended. The amendment reads that: "proof of honorable discharge from the armed services within ten years from the date of application to an institution shall qualify as a certificate enabling a student to attend the institution pending actual receipt of immunization records from the armed services. If while awaiting the receipt of actual immunization records a health risk shall arise at an institution, a student presenting a certificate under the terms of this subdivision shall be removed from the institution if proper immunization cannot be proved or otherwise rectified."
When do I need to provide my immunization records by?
Students need to provide the required documentation by the first week of classes in order to remain in compliance with the enrollment requirements of Houghton College Adult Education. Students not in compliance, or who have not shown a good faith effort to comply could be initially barred from attendance and face eventual termination from classes if documentation is not provided.
I am a former student, how can I get a copy of my immunization records?
You must submit a written request to the Adult Education Office. The request must include your name, date of birth, social security number, and signature. You must include the institution, name, address and fax number of where the record is to be sent.